Kollam: BJP State President K Surendran on Sunday lashed out at the Kerala government's decision to shift Sriram Venkitaraman IAS from the post of Alappuzha Collector.
"If Dileep can act in movies, Sriram Venkitaraman can work as a collector too. There is a case against actor Dileep for abduction and assault. Can anyone say that due to this reason, he can't work in films?" asked the BJP state chief at a press conference here.
The investigation against Dileep, who is the eighth accused in the case relating to the assault and abduction of an actor in 2017, should be conducted fairly. If found guilty, Dileep should be punished too. That's the way to go about it, Surendran said.
He also rubbished suggestions that Sriram Venkitaraman should not be appointed collector in any district.
"The CPI says that he should not be allowed to work in the Food and Civil Supplies department either. Is this fair?" he asked.
According to Surendran, the major decisions in this regard are taken by a select few.
The BJP leader said his intention was not to defend
Sriram and his party wanted the case against him in connection with the death of journalist Basher to be properly investigated.
Sriram should be punished, if found guilty, he said. However, after taking him back into the service, it's not fair to not allow him to work in any post. This is unacceptable, he said.
Surendran alleged the government is bending its knees before religious organisations. Some religious organisations had held huge protest marches in Alappuzha after he was appointed district collector.
“Nobody had demanded that the Waqf Board appointments should be left to the Public Service Commission. That decision was made terming it a reformatory move. However, the self-proclaimed leader of renaissance movements -- a veiled reference to CM Pinarayi -- is goofing up too often," he said.
Religious and extremist organisations are just bothered about their vested interests and the government is paying heed to this, Surendran alleged.
This is not a renaissance government but a spineless one, Surendran said.
Case against Sriram Venkitaraman
On August 3, 2019, journalist KM Basheer, who was the Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of Malayalam daily 'Siraj', was allegedly run down by Sriram Venkitaraman in a drunk driving accident in the capital city.
Venkitaraman was charged under sections on rash driving and causing death out of negligence. The case is ongoing in court. There were allegations raised by Basheer's family and friends that Venkitaraman was in an inebriated state at that time.
In the last week of July this year, Venkitaraman had taken charge as Alappuzha District Collector, from Dr Renu Raj, whom he had recently married. However, he was removed from the position just six days after his appointment following protests from various quarters.